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New paper: China’s Constitutionalism Debate

In the 4th Plenum Decision, the Party leadership repeatedly paeans the Constitution, even to the point that 4 December – the date of the current Constitution’s ratification in 1982 – has been named “National Constitution Day”. Two years ago, however, a speech by Xi Jinping commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Constitution led to a months-long nationwide debate on what the role of the Constitution in China’s society should be. As time went by, it became rather vociferous, and ended in the Social media crackdown of September last year. In this new paper, I’ve analysed the constitutionalism debate in terms of its content, but also as a political event that has important implications for our understanding of legal reform in China. It can be downloaded free of charge from SSRN.